BC Ferry

Traveling through British Columbia

There are a variety of ways to explore Alaska's Inside Passage, including starting the adventure by driving or ferry to Prince Rupert, British Columbia.

Whether you are planning an extended road trip or are looking for a self-guided cruise, we're here to help you plan your adventure.

By Car

Driving through British Columbia to Prince Rupert gives you the opportunity to do the ultimate road trip before continuing on the Alaska Marine Highway system. To drive from Bellingham, WA to Prince Rupert, BC is almost 1,500 km, or almost 900 miles, making this trip one to remember! See our “On the Road” advice [link to RV page] for tips on how to make your road trip a successful one.

By Plane

If you want to start your trip in Prince Rupert but are looking for a faster way to get there, commercial flights are available. A two-hour flight on a propeller plane from Vancouver, B.C. gives you an exciting (and quicker) way to get your journey started. Just let us know and we can help plan all of your trip, including Air.

By Ferry: Taking the ferry is the most popular choice for those traveling to Alaska along the Inside Passage.

From British Columbia: BC Ferries provides ferry service for both passengers and vehicles between Vancouver, BC and Vancouver Island (Swartz Bay near Victoria, BC and Duke Point and Departure Bay near Nanaimo, BC)

From Washington State: Traveling with a car, you can take the Black Ball Ferry Line's M/V Coho from Port Angeles, WA to Victoria, B.C. The Victoria Clipper travels daily between Seattle, WA and Victoria, and is a passenger-only ferry service.

BC Ferry Map

By Ferry: Taking the ferry is the most popular choice for those traveling to Alaska along the Inside Passage.

From British Columbia: BC Ferries provides ferry service for both passengers and vehicles between Vancouver, BC and Vancouver Island (Swartz Bay near Victoria, BC and Duke Point and Departure Bay near Nanaimo, BC)

From Washington State: Traveling with a car, you can take the Black Ball Ferry Line's M/V Coho from Port Angeles, WA to Victoria, B.C. The Victoria Clipper travels daily between Seattle, WA and Victoria, and is a passenger-only ferry service.

BC Ferry Map

In Prince Rupert, transfer to the Alaska Marine Highway system to continue your Inside Passage adventure. This means staying overnight until the ferry is scheduled to depart. Taking some time to enjoy the scenic beauty and outdoor adventures Prince Rupert has to offer is always a popular way to start your Alaskan voyage.

The schedule between Port Hardy and Prince Rupert changes depending on time of year.

http://www.bcferries.com/schedules/inside/ip-current.php

Summer Sailings June 11 to September 8

Day Cruise

Northbound Sailings: Leave Port Hardy at 7:30 AM
Arrive Prince Rupert at 10:30 pm
June, July, September the ferry leaves on odd-numbered days
August: Even-numbered days

Southbound Sailings: Leave Prince Rupert at 7:30 AM
Arrive Port Hardy at 10:30 pm
June, July, September the ferry leaves on even-numbered days
August: Odd-numbered days

BC Ferry Map

Photo by Tourism Victoria, Clive Allwork

If you are traveling during off-season, the weekly trip between Port Hardy and Prince Rupert makes additional stops in Bella Bella and Klemtu along the way. If you would like to make a reservation, please contact us to discuss specific dates.

Vancouver Island is where the Alaska Marine Highway meets the BC Ferry system. It is an alternate route from either arriving or departing on the ferry from Bellingham, WA, that provides even more opportunities for exploration and adventure.

Nanaimo, BC

Farmer's Markets, shopping and scuba diving are just a few of the easily accessible attractions in the town located on Vancouver Island. Camp and enjoy the scenic outdoors, take in the nightlife, or try to catch one of the many lively festivals that take place year-round. Many people stop here on their drive between Victoria and Port Hardy. The comfortable and well-equipped BC Ferry is also a popular choice.

There are two ferry routes to choose from:

  • Horseshoe Bay (West Vancouver, BC) to Departure Bay (Nanaimo) – 1 hour 40 minutes
  • Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal (1 hour drive from Bellingham, WA or 30 minutes from Vancouver, BC) to Duke Point, (15 minutes south of Nanaimo) – 2 hours

Port Angeles, WA

The Washington city is where you connect to the MV Coho ferry to Victoria, BC. Located in on the northern edge of the Olympic Peninsula, Port Angeles offers stellar views from its harbor and moderate temperatures that allow visitors to enjoy its bustling downtown and a number of recreational opportunities. Enjoy a scenic 2-hour drive from Tacoma along Puget Sound, or leave from Seattle, WA and take the ferry to Bainbridge Island, continuing the picturesque 1 ½ hour drive from there.

Port Hardy, BC

Camping, kayaking, caving, and scuba diving are just a few of the wilderness adventures you can enjoy. With a population of approximately 4,500 people, this is the perfect gateway to begin your Inner Passage adventure. Located at the northern end of Highway 19, the major highway on Vancouver Island, the BC Ferry can take you to Prince Rupert, where many travelers transfer to the Alaska Marine Highway to continue their trip north. For those interested in exploring more remote communities, the BC Ferry connects to Bella Coola and the Haida Gwaii/Queen Charlotte Islands out of Port Hardy.

Prince Rupert, BC

Whether exploring the stellar museums, viewing wildlife on a hike in old-growth forests or playing a round of golf, there is no shortage of activities in Prince Rupert. With a thriving performance and visual arts community, sport fishing and more, Prince Rupert has a rich history and is an exciting place to begin a voyage. Prince Rupert has service with both the Alaska Marine Highway ferry system as well as BC Ferries, and is even serviced by train through VIA Rail Canada.

Vancouver, BC

This urban port is surrounded by nature, and consistently named one of the top five worldwide cities for quality of life. Host of the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, there are no shortage of adventures to be found in the city. Vancouver is a three hour drive from Seattle, WA, or just an hour from Bellingham, WA.

Prince Rupert, BC

Between activities like touring The Butchart Gardens, which has over 55 acres of gardens year round, or zooming through the skies on a zipline adventure tour, we’re sure Victoria will have just what you’re looking for. The only question will be how long you want to stay! With a lively arts and culture scene and old-growth rainforests, the 2010 TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Awards named Victoria the #1 Destination to Visit in Canada. Victoria’s serviced by Black Ball Ferry Line that provides year found, daily service for both vehicles and passengers from Port Angeles, WA. BC Ferries also provides service to Victoria through Swartz Bay, a 30-minute drive away.